Exclusive Interview With Scott Foley of The Goodwin Games

Monica Gleberman | May 28, 2013

With major roles on Felicity and The Unit, it’s not surprising that Scott Foley is again swapping smaller TV roles for a starring role in new sitcom The Goodwin Games.

In the FOX comedy, the charismatic actor plays one of three estranged siblings who come together again after their father’s death. They stand to inherit millions of dollars, but only if they complete a series of tasks designed by their father to bring them closer together. From the creators of How I Met Your Mother, the series also stars T.J. Miller, Becki Newton, and Beau Bridges.

CableTV spoke with Foley about his latest role.

Q: Your character Henry Goodwin is tightly wound and the most reluctant of the siblings to go digging into the past. What is his state of mind like going into the games?

Foley: I think you’re right. He is the most successful, obviously, out of the three of them and hesitant to go back and fall into the trap that is his family. I think he’s worked very hard to get away from that dynamic, and I think that reason alone makes him hesitant. The fact they’re playing for $23 million changes his mind. Any time you dangle a carrot of that size… it’s hard to say, “No.”

The show is really about three siblings who’ve lost touch with themselves and each other, and they come back and, through this game, learn to appreciate each other. I think that was really interesting.

Q: You’ve made a lot of guest appearances on television shows. Is there something about the television process that you enjoy versus film or theater?

Foley: I grew up on television. I love television, and I like to work. I’m sort of a working stiff, and television allows me to do that. It’s a five day a week gig and, when you’re a regular recurring actor on one of these series, you get up in the morning, you go to work, you come home, and you kiss your kids and you put them to bed, and you get up the next morning. It’s a steady job, I guess is what I’m saying.

I’ve done some theater. I’ve done some Broadway and Off-Broadway and that’s very similar [to television]. Films are great. I love doing a film, but they are, for me at least, few and far between. [In film] you’re shooting two or three pages a day, as opposed to television where you shoot seven, eight or nine pages a day. It’s faster. We’re doing much more work in a shorter period, and it is ongoing. I like having a steady gig.

Q: What clicked for you when you walked onto the set for this show?

Foley: I’ve been very fortunate to have done quite a bit of TV. I was talking to my wife and she was looking on IMDb. She asked, “Do you know how many episodes of television you’ve done?” I had no idea, and she said, “It’s over 200.” I mean it’s crazy.

I think I’m happiest most—forgive me, wife—when I’m on set. I thrive in that environment, and The Goodwin Games creatively and personality-wise we meshed. I mean, you know when you’re doing a show. I’ve done a lot of pilots where you get on set and you think, “Oh this is not going to be good,” and I did not have that feeling on this show. We all had such high hopes and still do, and it was just there from the beginning, and I hope it keeps going.

Q: If you were to inherit $23 million, what would you do with it?

Foley: What would I do with $23 million? Oh my god, I think I would defer to my wife actually. I think it would go right from my pocket into her hands. What would we do with $23 million? Well, you know there are some things I’d like to do around the house. There are some trips we’d like to take. Honestly, a lot of it would go to freeing up time, and that’s kind of important to me. I have kids. I have interests that I’d love to spend more time on and with.

See Scott Foley in The Goodwin Games on Monday, May 20, on FOX at 8:30 p.m. EST.

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